Robert E. Lee and Lee-Jackson Day

By | Jan 19, 2011

January 19th is the anniversary of the birth of Robert E. Lee. Lee was born in 1807, the son of Henry “Light Horse Harry) Lee III, a general of the American Revolution. He was raised mostly by his mother since his father died in 1812 from a mob attack on him in Baltimore.

Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee would be considered one of the best General’s in United States history had it not been that he lead the southern forces during the Civil War. He graduated 2nd out of the 46 graduates of the Class of 1829. He was a superb Army Engineer serving in the Mexican War with General Winfield Scott. He served as Commander of West Point, bringing it up to a rank equal to any of the best military schools.

Lee was in command of the military force that was sent to Harper’s Ferry in 1859 to put down the rebellion of John Brown. Lee was against the notion of secession, but he turned down the offer to command the United States Army and resigned his commission when his home state of Virginia left the Union. He offered his services to Jefferson Davis, newly elected President of the Confederate States of America. His first duties were more as a advisor to Davis until he finally took command of the Confederate Army.

During the War, the home that he shared with his wife was seized. His wife was Anna Randolph Custis, the Great Granddaughter of Martha Custis Washington. She had inherited the estate, called Arlington House from her father when he died in 1857. The estate’s property is now known as Arlington National Cemetery.
Anna Randolph Lee - Wife of Robert E. Lee
Due to a clerical error, Lee was not granted amnesty after the war, although he declared his allegiance to the United States and filled out the forms of The Amnesty Oath. The oath had been filed away, perhaps thought to have been a copy and not the original until it was discovered in 1970 among State Department records. In 1975 Robert E. Lee was granted his pardon with full rights of citizenship. At the August 5, 1975 signing ceremony president Ford remarked, “General Lee’s character has been an example to succeeding generations, making the restoration of his citizenship an event in which every American can take pride.”

In 1889 the State of Virginia created a holiday that celebrated Lee’s Birthday of January 19. In 1904, another native Virginian, Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was added to the holiday, making it Lee-Jackson Day. Jackson’s birth was January 21, 1824. When it was decided to make a holiday around Martin Luther King birth of January 15, for a few years the holiday was in honor of all three of these men. However, due to the fact that Lee-Jackson and King are considered to be from two different ends of a political climate, Virginia moved Lee-Jackson Day to the Friday nearest to Lee’s Birth. This would either be the Friday before or the Friday after Martin Luther King Day.

Thomas ‘Stonewall” Jackson


Thank You for Reading

Leave a Comment

If you would like to make a comment, please fill out the form below.

Name (required)

Email (required)



WordPress Themes by DBT - Copyright © 2007-2017 6 Things To Consider. All Rights Reserved.